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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

A Family Tradition: My Review of Cedar Point

When I shared my family's tradition with the good people over at Cedar Point, they were kind enough to give me some complimentary tickets. Please know, however, that this review is completely my own.

Cedar Point Review, a Family Tradition

Since before I was even born, my family has been making the three-hour drive from our hometown in Indiana to the shores of Lake Erie in Ohio. Our destination? Cedar Point.


As a child, I imagined that every family made this yearly visit to what I believed was the sole amusement park on the planet. It came as quite a shock to me when I discovered that there were other amusement parks, closer amusement parks even, and yet my family continued to go to the same one year after year.

After years (and years) spent away from home, I was finally able to go back and join my family on their annual vacation.

It was strange to go back as an adult and be faced with the spending challenges that my parents have dealt with all along, see how they were able to make ends meet for a vacation, and hear first-hand their reasons behind choosing Cedar Point after all these years.

So here it is in a nutshell: my review of Cedar Point - the things I love, the things I don't, and the reasons I'll go back.

Cedar Point Campgrounds

On-Site Camping!

This is possibly the biggest driving factor that keeps my family coming back each year. (And I don't just mean my parents, I mean my grandparents and some aunts, uncles, & cousins as well.)

The camping area has a lot to offer, but we have been saddened over the years to see that the space for campers & tents has been shrinking (as the space for the more-expensive cabin-camping area has increased).

Eating Options?

Now that I'm all-grown-up, I've had a number of opportunities to check out other parks. That being said, I wasn't impressed with the menu options at Cedar Point. Although the all-day dining option was priced quite comparably to other parks I've been to, the food quality absolutely was not. I've come to expect that the all-day dining at amusement parks will include items such as BBQ, grilled chicken, salads, fresh sandwiches, and the like. Cedar Point, disappointingly, only allows all-day diners to partake of food such as corndogs, chicken nuggets, pizza, and burgers. It just isn't the type of thing I was willing to pay $30 for.

Roller Coaster at Cedar Point The rides, oh goodness, the rides!

If you're looking for thrills, it's hard to beat the selection of coasters from Cedar Point. As a matter of fact, they are known as "America's Roller Coast". And for good reason. The park boasts a stunning 17 roller coasters, and many of them have been world-record breakers at one point or another.

Despite the fact that Cedar Point has a limited amount of space (the park is basically on an island), they hold the world record with 72 different rides! I'm continuously impressed with the new rides they come out with, and was amazed at some of the changes I saw while visiting. At the same time I was a bit saddened to see that one of my old favorites (Disaster Transport) had been removed to make room for a newer roller coaster.

Reasonable Entry Price.

Nothing makes a parent cringe quite like realizing that they have to pay for everyone in the family. Not just the ones who are going to ride the rides, but even the ones who are terrified of the rides and ask for a hot pretzel every five seconds. Thankfully, you can snag Cedar Point tickets online at pretty great prices. Some of their online discount tickets even entitle you to free soft drinks all day long (which I absolutely recommend purchasing). Somehow, paying way-less for tickets at Cedar Point (compared to some other places whose prices make me feel faint) makes handing over your credit card not nearly as painful.

Baby goats at Cedar Point Fun for everyone, not just thrill-seekers...

One of my best memories of Cedar Point includes a sassy performer from Lusty Lil's twirling my grandpa's hair in her finger. This was funny because 1. My grandmother was laughing so hard she was crying... 2. My grandpa was beet red... and 3. My grandpa has an old fashioned hairstyle consisting of a buzz-cut with one curl in the front... which is what she was twirling in her finger, of course.

The park provides an enormous amount of entertainment for those who don't prefer to ride, or for whatever reason (pregnancy, back pain, etc.) currently can't ride. There are many live-show options in addition to park attractions like a petting-zoo, a Dinosaurs Alive exhibit, and a few family-friendly 'rides' that anyone can go on, like the Cedar Point Train.

Great Parent-Perks.

Possibly one of the best things that any park can offer of course, is special consideration for families. The park boasts two family care facilities (for important activities like baby-changing or nursing), a parent-swap program (which allows both parents to ride the rides, even if one has to watch younger kids), and KidTrack, which enables children and parents to quickly reunite. To top it all off, the park has four different areas that are perfect for the younger children in your group, including 2 kiddie-coasters just for them! (It was amazing to see my 4-year-old ride his first roller-coaster in the kiddie area, knowing that it was the exact same mini-coaster I first rode!)

Cedar Point Sign Overall:

It would take a lot to get me to dislike this park. Although I was disappointed at some of the things I noticed as an adult (like the food prices, yikes!) there is very little about the park itself that disappoints me. The rides are fantastic, there is a ton to see and do, the entertainment is unique, and the entire atmosphere there is one of laid-back, happy fun.

If you are looking for a good time this summer in a family-friendly place, I highly recommend you check out Cedar Point.

Connect:

You can check out Cedar Point for great online ticket deals on their website at www.CedarPoint.com. Or, find them in social media on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, and YouTube!

Have you ever been to Cedar Point? What amusement park is your favorite?
Chat with me in the comments below, I love hearing from my readers.

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